The 2017 World Series of Poker schedule was released this week, almost a month earlier than the 2016 edition came out. Along with the addition of five WSOP bracelet events to the summer's slate (from 69 awarded in 2016), there are eight new events on tap for 2017, as well as some changes to some pre-existing events sticking around from previous years.
Let's break down the schedule for the 48th annual WSOP, which will once again emanate from the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The WSOP main event kicks off the first of three starting days on July 8. The buy-in remains $10,000, levels are still two hours long and players start with 50,000 chips for the second straight year. The field will play down to the November Nine on July 17. For the first time, players will be able to buy-in for the main event and every tournament at that buy-in level and below with a credit card.
Among the eight new events is a $365 no-limit hold'em tournament called "The Giant," which will set the record for smallest live buy-in WSOP bracelet event. Each of five starting sessions will run at 7 p.m. on five consecutive Fridays, starting on June 9. Each player who reaches a certain threshold of players will receive a minimum-cash payout and advance to Day 2 on July 8, with the final table playing out on July 9.
The smallest buy-in ever for a WSOP bracelet event is also part of the 2017 schedule, as one of three online events being offered. After two years of $1,000 buy-in no-limit hold'em online tournaments on the WSOP schedule, a $333 and a $3,333 buy-in event have been added. All three events will play out in a single day, with unlimited re-entries, and there will not be a live final table for any of the three tournaments.
The first open event of the 2017 WSOP is the $10,000 tag team no-limit hold'em championship, which kicks things off for bracelet hopefuls on May 31. With the success of the $1,000 version of this event in 2016 (which also returns for 2017), a $10,000 edition has been added. For those unfamiliar with the format, teams of two to four people perform cooperatively with one stack (each player can tag in and out) until just one team remains. All members of the winning team receive their own bracelet.
After holding a "summer solstice" event in 2016, the name and the gimmick have been altered slightly for a tournament now called "The Marathon." Taking its cues from the 26.2 miles a marathon runner must complete, the buy-in is $2,620 and players start with 26,200 chips. Levels are 100 minutes throughout, and the tournament will span five days.
A one-day, $1,000 super turbo bounty no-limit hold'em event with 20-minute levels and a $300 bounty on each player takes place on June 20.
The non-hold'em events have expanded, as well, with the edition of a $2,500 "mixed big-bet event" (all no-limit and pot-limit games) and a $10,000 championship for pot-limit Omaha hi-low split 8 or better.
“The focus of the schedule remains squarely on two core principles: the biggest prize pools possible and diversity in offerings to provide something for everyone,” said Jack Effel, WSOP tournament director. “The 48th running of the globe’s biggest poker series promises to deliver on these core principles and ensure another action-packed summer at the Rio.”
WSOP executive director Ty Stewart shared his thoughts.
“This 2017 schedule reflects our continuing goal to broaden poker’s appeal and encourage first timers and recreational players to come experience the WSOP for themselves,” Stewart said. “With the new $365 buy-in 'Giant' anchoring Friday nights, alongside a tent-pole event awarding millions every weekend, we believe we have the offering to be well worth the trip. Plus, for the serious and high-stakes player, we remain committed to having the most diverse schedule of events of any tournament in the world. Whatever your game or bankroll, let the bracelet chase begin.”
There are 19 events (25.7 percent of the schedule) with a buy-in of $10,000 or more, although one of the tournaments that falls under that qualification is the Ladies no-limit hold'em championship, which only technically hits that mark to dissuade men from entering (women only have to pay $1,000 for entry).Three events come in at more than $10,000 -- the $25,000 Eight-handed pot-limit Omaha high roller, the $50,000 Poker Players Championship and the $111,111 High Roller for One Drop.
Familiar favorites like the Crazy Eights, Millionaire Maker, Monster Stack, Colossus and the Little One for One Drop are back, as well. As is the case with "The Giant," there are unlimited re-entries for each starting session in the Crazy Eights event (which guarantees an $888,888 first-place prize) and The Little One for One Drop (which once again takes place after the WSOP main event begins). For the Millionaire Maker and Colossus, each player is allowed a single re-entry per flight; the Monster Stack is a pure freeze-out. The Colossus III guarantees an $8 million prize pool and a $1 million first-place prize; the Millionaire Maker, as you might expect, guarantees the winner will also receive a minimum of $1 million.
With the exception of the WSOP main event, bracelet events that start at 10 a.m. or 11 a.m. will restart at 12 p.m. on Day 2. Tournaments that start at 3 p.m. will have 2 p.m. Day 2 restarts.